Posted in creative tasks, creative writing, efl, esl, fillers, fun, fun activities, lesson ideas, using photos, writing

Stories, Stories, Stories

Using photos in EFL Classroom, part 3

We are all stories, right? We tell a new story, the same story, another story all the time and we do it in the class too.

Today I’m going to mention activities that can be used to create new stories for the theme “Using Photos in EFL Classes”.

You can either ask your students to bring some photos they have taken or you can choose the photos you’ve taken or as usual, go to #ELTpics and tell them to choose the pictures they want to think about and write their stories.

You can tell them to write

watching the sea from a distance
watching the sea from a distance
  • Twitter stories, that is 140 characters only per photo
On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.
On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.
  • A mini saga, which is a short piece of writing containing exactly 50 words, plus a title of up to 15 letters.
Going Home It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”
Going Home
It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”

You can read the previous posts here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 1 and here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 2 

 

Posted in creative tasks, efl, elt, esl, fun, lesson ideas, photography, projects

Using Photos in Language Classes, Part 1

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“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Dorothea Lange

Visuals are useful and powerful tools to enhance the use of language, combining the images and the concepts they refer in the minds of the learners. Photos, as all visual images, also encourage the learners to predict and guess the story of the photo they are looking at. It is easy to bring the real world into the classroom and talk and discuss about it.

Today’s children love taking photos. They love taking “selfies” but they also take photos of everyday objects, food, the place they live, the place they visit and they don’t need a camera for taking photos anymore. They don’t even need to go somewhere to develop them to bring into the classroom. There is even no need for a printer, a computer as long as they have a smart phone, Internet connection and Google Tools to share it with you and their class mates. Moreover, as they are addicted to use the phone and can’t live a minute apart from them, why shouldn’t we take advantage of this and challenge them?

I think we can ask them to take their own photos or we can bring the ones that we have taken or chosen from other people’s sets. I’d suggest #ELTpics for projects with photos if you don’t want to use your own photos or the student photos.

In the early years the photos can be used to

Teach, revise vocabulary

Drill the target language

Describe the photo

Role play

Gamify

However in the advanced levels photos encourage students to write and tell stories, to discuss certain issues, and do a lot more things.

So I’m planning to write a few posts on using photos in the language classrooms. I will list some activities that can be used with any level.

Caption Writing Project

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  • Tell students to take photos on their way home or at the weekend, etc.
  • You can guide them to take photos of food, supermarkets, street markets, people commuting in the morning, etc.
  • Start a Google Slide and share with your class.
  • Tell students to upload their photos to the slide.
  • Depending on the size of the class, divide students in teams and give each team a set of photos (depending on the number of photos uploaded)
  • Tell each team to write captions for the photos they have for their teams.
  • Choose the best photo, best caption, the most creative caption, etc. (optional)

Follow up:

  • You can print them out and create a class display.
  • You can download the Slide as pdf and upload the file to “youblisher” and create an ebook that can be shared or embedded to your class blog or school website. This very easy activity can be turned into a class project as well.
  • If you decide to continue the project all year long, you may then decide to print the sets and turn them into a printed “class catalogue”.

 To be continued …

 

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Posted in efl, fun, ideas, lesson ideas, song lessons, songs

A Bollywood Style Song Lesson

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Nowadays there is a TV commercial of a fizzy drink that we talk a lot about. The dances used in the commercial is Bollywood style and we have just come across the original song on YouTube and it was not a surprise to find out that the song was from a Bollywood movie. The lyrics are in English but when I first listened I thought they were in Indian. Only when I focused, I caught the words. Then the idea emerged in my mind. Alas, it’s the end of year. I will not be able to use it this year but for the coming academic year, the song is on my list. 

You can use the Soup Song to

1. teach pronunciation, comparing the British or the American pronunciation with the one in the song.

2. talk about English as a Lingua Franca, even conduct a discussion on different pronunciations of English.

3. talk about different accents.

You can try Lyric Race with your class. It will be fun.

If you think moving in the class will be difficult because you have a big class, then maybe you can try the following activity with them

1. Prepare a gap fill activity with the lyrics. On slips of papers, preferably on a colored paper, write the omitted words.

2. Divide your class into teams.

3. Give them the handouts and the omitted words. Tell students to lay all the words open on the desk before you start the song.

4. Play the song and ask them to fill in the gaps with the omitted words. 

5. The winner is the one who finishes first.

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I’d like to hear about your thoughts about the lesson and if you use it before I can use, I’ll be happy to hear how your lesson went.

Posted in efl, esl, lesson idea, Valentine's day

A quick Lesson for Valentine’s Day

 

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AGE: ALL

LEVEL: A1, BEGINNER

MATERIALS: HEART SHAPED PAPER CUT-OUTS

Using paper, prepare heart-shaped cut-outs, as shown below.

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Give students the handout. Ask them to complete the categories with the given words, phrases. Or you can prepare your own categories according to your students’ likes.

A piece of cake, a piece of chocolate, a piece of apple pie, a slice of pizza, a big hamburger, a parrot, a tiny kitten, a friendly dog, goldfish, sister, brother, grandmother, friend, cousin, a cup of hot chocolate, a cup of tea, a glass of fruit juice, sea, mountain, lake, river, city, town

Food People Pets Drinks Places
         
         
         
         

Then give them heart-shaped cut-outs and tell them they are going to create their heart-shaped books. On each heart they will write

Love is …

and continue with the phrases from the categories or they can add their own words or phrases. Tell them to illustrate and colour their books.

Posted in creativity, drama, efl, elt, fun, ideas, improvisation, reading, reading short stories

A Fun Activity for the Story You’re Reading in the Class

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I am working with graded readers, short stories and novels with my classes. I was also preparing my talk for TESOL France and looking for some new ideas to share, I designed the following lesson inspired from Chaz Pugliese’s Gossip activity from the book Being Creative. The activity may not sound similar but while reading it, I just thought this will be a fun activity. I’m planning to do it this week with my 12th graders.

Level: B2 and above

Put students in 3s

As and Bs will speak

Cs will eavesdrop and take notes while As and Bs are talking.

A and B are characters from the novel/short story you’re reading in the class. 

Tell them they are going to gossip about another character from the story. 

For example: Squealer and Napoleon gossip about Boxer (Animal Farm)

Cs are either a passerby, a student from your class or a 4th character from the story. They will take notes of what they’ve heard and will inform the class after the activity.

Variation: If the students will not be able to improvise, you can put them in 3s and give some time to write the dialogue. Then Cs from each group go to listen to another A and B’s gossip.